Project RAND and Air Force Decisionmaking

by Willis H. Ware

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A brief history of Project RAND and its developing relationship with the U.S. Air Force. Project RAND began at Douglas Aircraft in 1946. In 1948 The Rand Corporation, a private nonprofit research corporation, was formed. The arrangement with the Air Force is formalized in Air Force Regulation 20-9: to assist the Air Force in improving its efficiency and effectiveness; Project RAND represents a continuing investment by the Air Force in objective research and analysis; RAND is to maintain both a technical and nontechnical capability in missions, organization, threats, strategy, tactics, operations, technology and resource management. The Project RAND research effort is divided into 5 programs: (1) strategic program, (2) general forces program, (3) logistics program, (4) manpower personnel and training program, (5) acquisition program. A recent RAND project, the Computer Resource Management Study, is described in detail to illustrate the functioning of RAND as an "inside-outsider" — an objective outsider able to effectively interface with the Air Force as needed. (Presented at Air Force Institute of Technology, May 1976.)

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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